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Receding Gums

Receding Gums

Prompt treatment for receding gums is essential to preserve the health of your teeth and avoid any periodontal disease. There are more risks involved due to tooth decay, poor bite, sore jaw, tooth loss, and discoloration. Go through this article to know more about the symptoms, causes, treatment, and preventive measures.
Abhay Burande
Last Updated: Jun 3, 2018
Did You Know?
Around 60% of the U.S. population is unaware that they have some form of gum infection, and there are more than 75% people with periodontal gum disease, who are at a higher risk of having a stroke, diabetes, joint pain, or cancer.
The condition of receding gums indicates: (1) A loss of gum tissue that surrounds the teeth, i.e., exposure in the roots of the teeth; and/or (2) Recantation of the gingival margin from the top portion of the teeth. It is also known as gingival recession. Gum recession is considered a normal part of the aging process. It, generally occurs in adults over the age of 40. However, in some people, it may also start from their teens.
Symptoms
To detect if you are suffering from a gum disease or not, start by feeling the top of the teeth near the gum line. If you sense a notch (small cut) below the gum line, then it implies that gum recession has started, which would, eventually hasten the decay of your healthy teeth.

When you brush your teeth, your gums may appear swollen, red, or sore. Besides, your teeth may become vulnerable, and you may sense a stinging form of sensitivity.

There is discomfort while consuming hot or cold foods, or liquids because your teeth may have become sensitive. If the gums recede and expose more of the lower part of the teeth, then this part is found to be very sensitive and also triggers a short, needle-like pain.

You may have persistent bad breath, and your gums could bleed because of swelling.

You may notice that your gums have started to contract, and your teeth seem longer than normal.

You may experience a burning sensation, and notice that the roots of the teeth are exposed and stained. This is because plaque (containing millions of bacteria) builds up on the teeth and gums. If it is not removed on a daily basis, toxins are created that irritate and inflame the gums. This inflammatory process destroys the gum tissues and thus, results in their separation from the teeth.

Spaces called "pockets" are formed, and these hold more bacteria, thereby aggravating the problem.
Causes
  • Genetic, or hereditary reasons
  • Harsh brushing, or "toothbrush abrasion"
  • Periodontal, or gum disease
  • Lack of proper dental care and maintenance
  • Excessive plaque buildup at the gum line
  • Hormonal changes in women
  • Misaligned/crooked teeth
  • Smoking
  • Oral piercings
  • Stress, lack of sleep, and poor diet
Treatment
Nutritional supplements, like phosphorus, magnesium, calcium, vitamin B complex, and vitamin C are sometimes prescribed for prevention of decay and repair of gum tissue.

To desensitize the exposed teeth, the dentist may prescribe a mild fluoride toothpaste or an ointment to apply in the sensitive area.

In case of a plaque buildup, regular cleaning is suggested. Composite resins or other types of fillings, like amalgam or gold, may be placed in the tooth by the dentist.

For those, who have severe receding gums, the only treatment option for them is using a graft from another part of the mouth. For misaligned teeth, the orthodontist, usually recommends dental braces.

A very popular method that the dentist uses on those with healthy teeth and gums is drilling holes in the teeth and filling them with a material that prevents the gums from withdrawing.

Another method is to smooth out the surface of the teeth with a dental drill. Adhesive, or filling material is applied to the teeth to form a light coating, which is allowed to dry slightly. Following this, the teeth are "cured" by exposing them to a special blue light at a high intensity. However, this method is not approved by the American Dental Association.

Opting for herbal, or homeopathic solutions is also not regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. People with gum diseases along with receding gums must visit a periodontist (or dentist) to confirm, whether there is a formation of pockets in the gum, or major bone loss.
Prevention Tips
Stop brushing very hard, as doing so along with a hard-bristled toothbrush could lead to rapid gum degeneration.

Horizontal brush strokes continuing for a long period must be avoided. Brush gently using a soft-bristled toothbrush, and apply mild to moderate pressure when brushing upward and downward.

Dentists always recommend that proper flossing is more significant than brushing; therefore, floss regularly.

Also, you must stop grinding and clenching of teeth.

Amend your tooth fillings and crowns that do not meet correctly.

Gargling with salt water and applying clove oil to your gums are also effective ways in curing a gum disease that is minor in nature. For extreme cases, surgery is recommended.

Some people are predisposed to gum recession because of heredity reasons. They must maintain proper oral hygiene by brushing and flossing daily, and visiting the dentist frequently.
Hence, it is up to you to prevent any dental problem. Make it a point to consult your dentist or periodontist, and visit him at least twice a year.
Disclaimer: This article is for informative purposes only and should not be used as a replacement for professional medical advice.